COSATU Media Release, Tue 2006/10/24 04:28 PM

MEC Firoz Cachalia to visit Heidelberg Police station on Karan Beef strike

Gauteng Safety and Security MEC, Firoz Cachalia, will tomorrow, 25 October 2006, at 09h00, be visiting the Heidelberg Police Station on behalf of the South African Commercial and Catering Allied Workers Union (SACCAWU). The media will be very welcome to attend.

This is after employees of Karan Beef who are represented by SACCAWU were badly treated by the police during their strike which started on July 28 2006.COSATU handed in a report to the MEC's office today to investigate the matter further.

Between 23 August 2006 and 18 September 2006, certain members of Heidelberg SAPS acted in collusion with Karan Beef’s senior members of security (Gerorge Booker and Putseletso) and harassed workers at their homes in the Ratanda township, Heidelberg. Workers were subjected to verbal and physical abuse in their own homes at night time. They subsequently attempted to open cases of abuse and assault but in vain, as some police officers were not cooperative and helpful. Workers have deposed affidavits to that effect.

As a result one of the workers - Ephraim Mvulane - was brutally shot at many times by the police, after the windows and doors of his home had been broken on the night of 18 September 2006. This worker later died on 20 September 2006.

After visting the police station the MEC and other COSATU leadership will also be visiting the Mvulane family.

Karan Beef strike still continues. The union is asking the employer to come back to the negotiaing table. Some of the unions demands include:

  • 12 percent increase only for employees earning above R2000
  • a minimum wage of R2000
  • to end racism in the company
  • recognition agreement of the union
  • transport arrangement for night shift employees
  • employees provident fund to be that of SACCAWU
  • casualisation
  • to register the company's security guards so that they would be able to comply with the labour law

For more information please contact the COSATU Gauteng Provincial Secretary, Siphiwe Mgcina, on 082 465 8336

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